Between April 2012 and March 2013, in four PCT areas in England – Westminster, Manchester, Salford and Nottingham – patients were able to access a GP practice away from the area in which they lived, either in place of, or in addition to, their ‘home’ practice. PIRU carried out an independent evaluation of the practice choice pilot, and examined the level of demand for GP choice, the experiences of care received by patients, and the impact on pilot practices and commissioners of GP services.
The evaluation of the GP Practice Choice pilot included:
- Interviews with patients in the pilot
- Interviews with practice staff and PCT staff involved in the pilot
- A postal survey of all patients involved in the pilot (similar to the GP patient survey which is undertaken twice a year by NHS England)
- A web survey of staff from all pilot practices
- Analysis of administrative data
- A discrete choice experiment to explore what attributes patients valued when choosing a GP practice.